Monday, June 13, 2005


A recent article in a Twin-Cities newspaper quotes one medical authority as suggesting that buprenorphine is – compared to methadone – “well-suited for the growing number of people . . . who abuse prescription pain medications, and for those who are not seriously dependent,” and that methadone is “better for people who are severely addicted and who have powerful withdrawal symptoms.” One or both of these statements may be true - but does anyone out there know of any controlled trials that support either conclusion?


At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Dr. RGNewman, as there is so many "gray" areas that cross the line between addiction and dependence.
Having worked in a MMTC for >3 years, I understand addictions in the context of that there are various degrees.
The core issue is that Buprenorphine is not well publicized or marketed in terms of physicians having any desire to become licensed to dispense this medication.
The stigma patients face can be overwhelming, and it has been explained to me that the waiting in line, coming to a MMTC is as difficult to accept as the addiction itself.
Thank you for this Blog, if anyone would like to email me regarding this I would be most interested.


At 8:22 AM, Blogger daydreamer2940 said...

My son was 24 years old and he had been taking LoriTabs. He misused his prescription. He had stopped taking them but still had the craving for the pills. He asked the doctor if there was anything he could take to help with the craving. He was given a prescription of Methadone. The next morning he was gone. The Methadone killed him. He was a father of three. Now he has been gone 1 year 3 months 2 weeks and 5 days. Two other young adults in our area died from the same thing within a couple of weeks after James died. I feel Methadone should not be used.

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reference to your son being given methadone becuase he had misused his Lortabs. you said he had stopped taking them but still had the craving. He was given a prescription of methadone. This is what I have to say to you: I am sorry for the loss of your son but you are being totally unrealistic blaming it on methadone. I am going to tell you why: If anyone was to blame -it should have been the Doctor-How did he get a prescription for methadone when it is illegal to dispense by any Doctor except for pain -It can only be dispensed at a Licensed Methadone Clinic and you drink your dose of methadone there every day for the first three months; they never give you a prescription of methadone tablets. Until you have earned the right -you can't even take any home with you. You must come every morning and dose there at the clinic in front of the nurse, and for the first six months you must give a urine every week and if it is not clean -you may never get a take -out of methadone. You also receive counseling there and they keep a close watch on your dosage. It tells me the Doctor who wrote the prescription broke the law and you have grounds to sue him for a wrongful death,but do not blame it on methadone. Even if it was legal for a Doctor to prescribe methadone for addiction and write out a prescription for it and your son died from it - you cannot blame the drug - it was your son's choice to take the drug -how do we know He didn't take more than the Doctor prescribed? He did with the Lortabs. He had a precription of dangerous pills and I am quite sure , because most Doctors are very ignorant when it comes to methadone - the Doctor gave him no advice concerning the drug. He , because the drug has a slow onset of action probably thought it wasn't going to work and took more and it killed him. Besides, anyone with a habit no greater than Lortabs should never be put on methadone. Why not send him to rehab first? This is what is required of you before you are accepted into a methadone program; you needed to have tried Rehab first, then a second time.
Don't dare blame methadone for your son's death. Blame the Doctor, blame your son , but not the drug because he chose to take it. Methadone is a wonderful life-saving drug taken the way it should be taken and it has given many of us our lives back so we could work and provide for our children. Methadone didn't kill him -He killed himself!

At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am on Methadone for PAIN. I have to have a prescription. It is absurd that the other commenter said that you can only get it from a Methadone clinic which is to get them OFF any drug.My doctor writes me a scrip for methadone tablets. That is most likely what his doctor did. Methadone is no worse or better than Lortabs..I hate having to be on either.
I feel so sorry for the other lady. My 37 year old brother died of an overdose of cocaine and other drugs, including Lortabs and xanax, on March 29th 1997 and it is still hard to believe he's gone. So don't judge the lady. Grief is a terrible thing. My prayers are with his Mom.

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is that this young fella (as stated by another reader) got a script for 'done and WAS NOT taking it in a clinical setting. It seems most likely that he did OD due to his own lack of experience with the drug, I know I have. Again, as stated before, methadone has a long half-life, which translates to it having a long onset of action lag period-he probably took a dose (or 2 or 3) and 45-60 minutes later, when he wasn't "feeling it" like he would have been with his Lortabs, went ahead and took some more, and then BAM! next thing he knows he can't even roll over to get out of the puddle of vomit he just heaved. I agree that the most blameworthy culprit here (besides the poor kid, himself) is the doc who wrote the Rx, very irresponsible. He probably had good intentions, I'm sure he was trying to save his patient from the hassle and stigma attached to attending a clinic. But when you're in so deep that you can't quit on your own, you obviously need more help than just a script. Sad story...


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